Wednesday, October 28, 2015


A handcart, which I will need so that I can move.  Because, arrived yesterday -

- six packages of Wolfermans Muffins
- two bottles of Wolfermans Ice Cream Sauce

and today:

- one box of Williams-Sonoma frozen almond croissants.

Plus, there's a recipe for New York Style pizza dough I've been wanting to try -- even bought some Double-Oh flour for it.  So there's that.

Oh, and a larger belt, I'll need that, too......

Printers, Redux

When young, we laugh at older people for their pathetically naive view of how technology works.  Grandma, you don't have to turn off the TV to use your new phone!

Then we look up How to get an offline-printer back on line, and the first suggestion is Turn it off and back on.  Which is what Grandma would do, even though clearly all you need to do is reboot the PC, apply some patches, change your sharing options, remove some other devices, update the drivers, and do the little dance.


Monday, October 26, 2015


Interesting day.  Where Interesting means okay can we start today again?

Cat has taken to puking on a routine basis. What they say is true:  the sound most likely to get you out of a comfortable bed quickly is that of a cat hurking on the carpet.

Rocket Italian is doing okay, but it does seem aimed at people who don't pick up things quickly.  Though in a couple of lessons, I might be saying slow down, slow down!  If I haven't ditched it, that is. 

Woke up in the middle of the night thinking about authority in student-led organizations.  I've never understood how things like that are supposed to work.  When I was my daughter's age, I was in a military training organization where the bulk of daily activities were run by three levels of student leadership - the 'green ropes', responsible for one flight of about 20 people; the 'yellow ropes', responsible for three or four flights, and the 'red rope', responsible for the organization overall.  It seemed to work reasonably well, but after whats going on with my daughter, where the thing she fears most -- the thing which is still not resolved, after more than a month -- is run by students,  I wonder: where does student authority come from?  Where do they get trained?  How do they get judged? All of this did not occur to me back then -- they just were -- but now, I wonder.  In training organizations where the average course was 8 months long before departure, how could any "student leader" get enough experience to be any good?

Of course, I would not be thinking about this if my daughter was not still waiting to find out if the Corps 'Honor Court" is going to kick her out of the corps (for something that I think is significant but hardly worthy of expulsion).  And seeing her academic performance dropping because she is so fixated on this.  In her last year of college, when she should be thinking about looking for jobs, filling out resumes, all of that. Though I try to reassure her, its an uphill climb.

Her college is a decent school, and the Corps of Cadets is a good organization.  My daughter adores both of them. But the Corps' sluggish performance in resolving this imbroglio hasn't found any fans in me. Waiting for them to get off the stick is tormenting my daughter, and I can do nothing about it.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Getting Rocketed

Mildly bummed.  After looking at several sources for an Italian course, I finally settled on Rocket Languages Italian, as it has numerous high recommendations from people who've tried other places.  Of course, they always compare it to Rosetta Stone, which has apparently not improved its interface or its style for years, and to DuoLingo, which is good but incomplete.  I also tried people's personal efforts, being impressed with 30 Minute Italian -- only to find that while the content was good, the author had the tendency to say OMG during my last trip to the south of Italy it was just so gorgeous, you have to go. So, I took the plunge with RLI.

Well.  It's possible that I don't understand how to use their site.  But here's what I sent off to them after four hours, off and on, there --

I just started today, and I have a number of questions.  Most relate to Rocket Italian, very first lessons. Overall, this is a very rocky start!

1) The Rocket Italian first lesson seems to have a typo -- it asks for AND YOU in the informal tense (e tu), but E LEI and CIAO are also shown as acceptable.  Surely not! 
(note: E LEI does mean 'and you', but in the formal tense, while CIAO means 'hello' or 'goodbye')

2) Trying to left click or double click an icon (see it, hear it, write it, etc) does not work -- I have to right click OPEN LINK AS NEW WINDOW to get the options to work. Is that normal?

3) The Playback (to hear my own recording) button disappeared halfway through the second lesson -- (still there but grayed out and nonselectable) Is that intentional?

4) How many words do you have to do on each section?  I keep doing them until I get tired, but there is no indication of when a section is 'done'.

5) How does the score counter work?  Mine went past 900, then I scrolled backwards to see what the scroll did, realized it was showing me yesterday (I bought the package today), scrolled back, and suddenly it was about 347.  What?

6) how can you tell what your current lesson is? I would expect that there's a 'latest lesson you've done' indicator, but I don't see one. Does one exist?

I'm hoping they have reasonable and quick responses. Otherwise, I'll be seeing how well their guaranteed refund if not satisfied works.

Monday, October 19, 2015


Reading The heart and the fist : the education of a humanitarian, the making of a Navy SEAL.  Recommended by my daughter.   Intense.  Not at all what I expected. (The book, not my daughter.)

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Skydiving without having personally checked your chute first is nothing.  You want to demonstrate fearlessness, go ahead and delete your printer drivers as the HP software suggests, and then see whether the new drivers can even be installed, let alone actually work.

Friday, October 16, 2015


It appears that if you tell your daughter, who's driving 5 hours to get home, if you get tired, call us, and we will come and get you, she will take you up on it when a combination of a long day, construction, and heavy traffic means she is starting to get sleepy half way home.  When we arrived at her stopping point in a semi-isolated gas station, she hugged me, and she said -- three times -- on the drive home with her mother that she really appreciated our arrival.

It also appears that if her location is two hours away, that means you have to travel two hours to get there -- well, duh, of course -- as well as two more hours to get home.  Oh, yeah.

Which means that if you've left the house at 930 PM, you won't get home until about 130AM. 

Which is on the seriously late side for the one of you that still has to get up in the morning in order to get to work.


Sunday, October 11, 2015


I just found this in my repository of saved images.  I wonder what happened to her?  Stupidity shouldn't destroy your life....

Friday, October 09, 2015

Republicans, Techology, and My Daughter

You almost have to feel sorry for the Republicans.  But then you have to feel sorry for the rest of us, too.  Their lead guy said that he's quitting, and now their guaranteed shoo-in replacement says he has gotten so much pressure already from their radical don't care we we burn the building down wing, he doesn't want the job any more. He needs their votes to get the position, and felt that the position just was not worth the grief. Of course, the radicals don't care -- they are perfectly willing to shut down the goverment, just to get their way.  In fact, that would probably be desirable, to them.  The Wall Street Journal today said it's a battle between ideological purity and proving that you can govern.  They offered Newt Gingrich's Congress as proof that you can't have both - you need to be able to compromise. Otherwise, you fail. Of course, when the House (or Senate) fails, so does Congress.  The problem is that the radical conservatives absolutely despise the success that the liberals have had - eg, Obamacare, the Iran deal - and would give anything to undo it.  Well, except a plausible plan for governing.

I like the looks of the Microsoft Surface book.  Was fascinating to read a tech guru saying well of course you want an improved laptop, all that talk about Everyone will want a tablet was CLEARLY bushwah.  Um, yeah.  Clearly.  We're contemplating replacing our desktop -- which is still happily, if slowly, running Windows XP - and the idea of getting something with laptop ease of use and the ability to occasionally use it as a tablet is quite nice.  The initial comments have been uniformly positive.  Can't wait to see what people say about it after they have played with it for a while.  And you know that it will come loaded with Junkware.  I mean, tools to enhance your computing experience. 

This afternoon my daughter meets with the review board for the Corps of Cadets.  It turns out now that the Honor Court will also get involved, though it's vague exactly how -- on the one hand, a Corps staff officer will 'adjudicate all charges', which sounds like he will say Guilty or Not for each of them; on the other, if (their word) the Honor Court is involved, they will do a review and issue recommendations  So what I think will happen, and what actually will happen, are probably congruent but not identical.  We drove down to see my daughter yesterday, and had breakfast with her today.  She's cheerful but tense.  Four more hours....

Tuesday, October 06, 2015


Things with my daughter are guardedly better.

First off, she requested and got an immediate transfer to a new room.  Things were getting toxic with her roommate -- not hate-and-vitriol toxic, but 'getting snarky texts' toxic.  She actually wasn't sure she wanted to move, but when the roommate sent a text asking, snarkily, why didn't you tell me that you are moving to a different room - which hadn't been yet decided (though it was mentioned), she decided I have to get out of here.  Which happened that very night.  She is now in a room with the fourth roommate -- the one who informed on them.  They are both happy.  The change in my daughter's voice was amazing.

Second, I asked for opinions from the mother of one of the other cadets -- but not just any mother of any cadet;  this one had been the administrator of the Facebook page for parents of kids in the cadet group, and her son had been the highest-ranking cadet in the corps before he graduated.  I figured if anyone would understand, yet hold up the corps of cadets viewpoint, she would.  She told me that yes, it was serious, but she doubted any lasting damage would be done to my daughter -- which means, nothing that will keep her from graduating with the corps. (She told me that she knew of one cadet, last year, who decided to bring alcohol into the dorm, and was informed two days before graduation that he would not be graduating with the corps of cadets - with his class, yes, but with the corps, no - which meant he would not be getting a commission, which meant he would not be going into the military.  Enjoy your life, kid.  My daughter did not bring in or use alcohol, but the others involved in this fandango did.)

Third, another cadet was talking to a member of the corps staff who happens to know my daughter fairly well.  The staff member made an offhand remark that there would be repercussions for my daughter, but he doubted that they would be serious.  The cadet happens to be friends with my daughter's boyfriend, so the word was passed pretty quickly.

Of course, it ain't over till it's over.... but things aren't quite as gloomy as they were two days ago.